We publish this statement in solidarity with those demonstrating on 19 March, on the eve of the French presidential election, against police brutality, murder and state racism in France.
Translated by David Broder.
One a month. That is the average number of fathers, brothers and sons we lose because of the brutality of the forces of order. This brutality takes many forms: from beatings, bullets or Tasers to ‘stress positions’ that lead to the victims’ asphyxiation. In the worst cases the results are fatal.
That is how our loved ones have regularly been killed by the French state over the last 40 years or more, at the hands of those ironically called the ‘guardians of the peace’. For 40 years or more, criminalisation campaigns and the most abject impunity have been the official response to those mobilising to demand truth and justice for the dead. The stubborn police, judicial and political response to the Traoré family, to whom we extend our total solidarity, is proof enough of this. Every time, the same story.
The repression against us, the families of the victims, has been aggravated under the régime of the state of emergency. All forms of abuse are now permitted, along with all their share of tragic consequences. No longer do the police adapt to the law; it is the law that adapts to the police… And we are far from the only ones to have been targeted by the strengthening of security measures and state violence. In 2015 the government declared a genuine domestic war. It hunts down migrants and those who defend them. It pursues the traditional repression of ‘Blacks’, ‘Arabs’ and ‘Roma’ and popular neighbourhoods more generally. It targets ‘Muslims’, including through totally arbitrary raids, house arrests and mosque closures… We can add to that the social war that [ex-prime minister] Manuel Valls and co. have been waging, especially in the context of the mobilisation against the Labour Law. As they seek to face down the resistance coming from the popular neighbourhoods and the social movement, they have let violence off the leash, affecting even categories that had hitherto been protected.
The terrible atrocities we saw in 2015 and 2016 have strengthened the security arsenal, even though they are themselves the direct consequence of the war policy that France and its allies are waging abroad. The French state, which still weighs with full force on the peoples it dominates – including in Africa – is extending this policy to the Near East, while also endorsing the occupation of Palestine. Its ‘fight against terrorism’ more than anything else resembles a permanent aggression against innocent peoples. It is this, among other things, that feeds the humanitarian crisis among the refugees, cynically treating these people as a potential ‘terrorist’ threat.
Such is the snake that bites its own tail: the internal war climate justifies the ever more brutal control over the population and offers a warrant for police violence. This latter represses all those who do not conform, and all those – from victims’ families to protestors against the Labour Law, militants in popular neighbourhoods and zadistes [direct-action occupiers; ZAD = ‘Area to Defend’] – who dare to organise against the state, stand for justice and affirm their dignity.
This concerns all of us!
The presidential campaign will not resolve anything. Quite the contrary. Almost each new campaign statement is an insult to our struggles, our concerns and our urgent needs.
– Because we will not submit to arbitrary power;
– because the words ‘justice’ and ‘dignity’ still mean something to us;
– and because we think that it is essential to organise, together, to fight back against the war on the poor, on migrants, and descendants of the colonised,
We call on all those who feel concerned by these subjects to join us in all our future initiatives (see calendar below) and participate in very great numbers in the March for Justice and Dignity on Sunday 19 March 2017. Against the hogra [term from pro-democracy struggles in Algeria and Morocco, referring to the régime’s disdain for the people], against humiliation, against police violence and racism, against the cowardly wars waged in our name against peoples who have not done anything to us.
Let’s rediscover our hope, strength and unity and form a common bloc in the name of Justice and Dignity.
The first signatory families:
The family of Lahoucine Ait Omghar
The family of Amine Bentounsi
The family of Hocine Bouras
The family of Abdoulaye Camara
The family of Lamine Dieng
The family of Wissam El Yamni
The family of Amadou Koumé
The family of Mourad Touat
The family of Ali Ziri
Action-antifasciste Paris-Banlieue (AFA) – Alternative Libertaire (AL) – Association Black is really beautiful – Association contre le racisme (ACOR, Suisse) –Association citoyenneté active (Chauny) – Association Égalité Toulouse Mirail– Association pour l’Intégration et l’Invention Républicaines (AIIR) – Association Femmes plurielles – Association KÂLÎ – Association de lutte contre l’islamophobie et les racismes (ALCIR 20eme) – Association des Travailleurs Maghrébins de France(ATMF) – Assemblée des Blessés, des Familles et des Collectifs contre les violences policières – ATTAC – Brigade Anti Négrophobie (BAN) – Bruxelles Panthères –Candidaturas d’Unitat Popular (CUP – Espagne) – Cedetim/Ipam – Centre d’études postcoloniales de Lyon – CGT-Culture Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration – Collectif décolonial lyonnais – Collectif enseignant pour l’abrogation de la loi de 2004 (CEAL) – Collectif Parisien pour la Protection des Jeunes et Mineurs Isolés Étrangers (CPMJIE) – Collectif Ni Guerres ni état de guerre – Comité contre les violences policières à Pantin – Convergence Citoyenne Ivryenne (CCI) – Coopérative écologie sociale – CRI Rouge – D’ailleurs nous sommes d’ici” 67 (DNSI)–Emancipation Tendance intersyndicale – Fondation Frantz Fanon – Front antiraciste alsacien – Identité plurielle – IJAN (Argentina) – IJAN International – LKP – London Campaign Against Police and State (Grande-Bretagne) – Marche des Femmes pour la Dignité (MAFED) – Mwasi – Organisation Communiste Libertaire (Paris) – New socialists (Toronto) – Nouveaux Cahiers du Socialisme (Montréal) –Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA) – Organisation de femmes Egalité – Parti communiste des ouvriers de France (PCOF) – Plateforme de la voix des prisonniers – Parti des Indigènes de la République (PIR) – Réseau pour une gauche décoloniale – Le Seum collectif – Socialist Project (Toronto) – Sortir du colonialisme – Union des Démocrates Musulmans de France (UDMF) – Union Juive Française pour la Paix(UJFP) – Urgence Notre Police Assassine (UNPA)
Individual signatures :
Hamé, du groupe La Rumeur (artiste) – Kery James (artiste) – Youssoupha (artiste) – Opal Tometi (co-fondatrice de Black Lives Matter et Executive Director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration-BAJI) – Eli Domota (LKP) –
And in alphabetical order :
Sihame Assbague (militante antiraciste) – Djamel Attalah (marcheur de 83) – Ludivine Bantigny (historienne) – Mohamed Benkhelouf (maire adjoint à Aubervilliers) – Judith Bernard (metteur en scène) – Olivier Besancenot (NPA) – Félix Boggio Éwanjé-Épée (revue Période) – Ahmed Boubeker (sociologue) – Rachid Bouchareb (réalisateur) – Alima Boumediene Thiery (avocate) – Houria Bouteldja (PIR) – Pierre Cours-Salies(Sociologue, professeur émérite Paris 8, Membre d’Ensemble !) – Gerty Dambury(écrivaine) – Christine Delphy (Féministe) – Rokhaya Diallo (auteure et réalisatrice) – Eva Doumbia (artiste) – Mireille Fanon Mendès-France (Fondation Frantz Fanon et experte ONU) – Patrick Farbiaz (Sortir du colonialisme) – François Gèze (Editeur) – Alain Gresh (journaliste) – Nacira Guénif-Souilamas (sociologue) – Olivier Le Cour Grandmaison (universitaire) – Franco Lollia (BAN) – Stella Magliani-Belkacem (La fabrique éditions) –Philippe Marlière (universitaire) – René Monzat (militant antiraciste) – Océane Rosemarie (comédienne) – Philippe Poutou (Porte-parole du NPA) – Saadane Sadgui (Co-fondateur des JALB et du MIB) – Catherine Samary(Militante altermondialiste) – Maximilien Sanchez (conseiller municipal délégué à la jeunesse de Gentilly) – Omar Slaouti (membre du collectif Ali Ziri), Odile Tobner(auteure de “Du racisme français) – Enzo Traverso (universitaire) – Françoise Vergès (politologue) – Marie-Christine Vergiat (Députée européenne, Front de Gauche) – Catherine Wihtol de Wenden (universitaire)
Signatures internationales :
Jabir Puar (Associate Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University, USA), Jin Haritaworn (professor, University of Toronto), Rabab Abdulhadi (Director, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) Initiative, Race and Resistance Studies, San Francisco State University, USA) , Inderpal Grewal (professor, Yale University, USA), France Winddance Twine (professor, Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA), Minoo Moallem (professor, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, University of California, Berkeley, USA), Sirma Bilge (Associate Professor, Sociology Department, Université de Montréal), Lisa Duggan (Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis, NYU, USA), Nelson Maldonado-Torres (Associate Professor, Latino and Caribbean Studies, and Comparative Literature, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ USA), Paola Bacchetta (professor, Berkeley), Hatem Bazian (director, Islamophobia Documentation Center, and lecturer, University of California, Berkeley, USA), Huma Dar (Co-founder, Muslim Identities and Cultures, and lecturer, Race & Resistance Studies, Department of Ethnic Studies, San Fransisco State University, USA), Malkia Cyril (Black Lives Matter, Bay Area, California, USA) Dina M Siddiqi, (professor, Anthropology, BRAC University, Bangladesh), Cheba Chhachhi, Artist, New Delhi, India, Kavita Krishnan, women’s rights activist, Delhi, India, Carla Trujillo, novelist, also Assistant Dean, UC Berkeley, USA, Donna Murch, Associate Professor, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, Ramon Grosfoguel, professor, UC Berkeley – Stefan Kipfer (York University, Canada) – Greg Albo, Professeur, York University, Toronto –
If you want to join us signing this call as an organisation or a collective, please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also sign here if you are an individual : https://www.change.org/p/france-fin-de-l-impunit%C3%A9-et-des-violences-d-%C3%A9tat?recruiter=655421927&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink
Calendar (latest dates)
6 and 7 January 2017, Clermont-Ferrand: Evening meeting and rally for Wissam El Yamni
4 March 2017, Paris, 10th arrondissement: march for Amadou Koumé, who died in a police station in 2015
6 to 10 March 2017, Paris Court of Appeal: appeal case of the policeman who shot (in the back) and killed Amine Bentounsi in 2012.
19 March 2017, Paris: March for Justice and Dignity
17 June 2017, Paris 20th arrondissement: march for Lamine Dieng, who died in a police van in 2007